MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it was investigating online shopping portal Shopee Philippines over allegations that it “scammed” customers over a promo to win passes to K-pop girl group BLACKPINK’s recent meet and greet.
“Siyempre kailangan i-protect ‘yung mga consumers who participated in the promo. Kailangan maimbestigahan further kung saan nagkamali (Of course we have to protect consumers who participated in the promo. We have to investigate further what went wrong),” Trade Secretary Mon Lopez told CNN Philippines on Friday, June 7, the day after the meet and greet.
BLACKPINK fans, collectively called Blinks, have accused Shopee of “scamming” them into spending thousands on the site for a promo that gave them a chance to win passes to the event.
Blinks on Thursday, June 6, made the hashtag #ShopeeScam trend on Twitter to express frustration over Shopee’s supposed dishonesty. They said Shopee changed the mechanics to the contest at the last minute.
Lopez told CNN Philippines that they have already spoken to Shopee. “Ang mga ganyang promo, nire-register sa DTI para kung hindi nadeliver, pwedeng balikan ng consumer ang nagbigay ng promo – either refund ‘yan o may penalty. Inaalam natin ngayon,” he said.
(Those promos are registered with the DTI so that if they fail to deliver, the consumer can hold them accountable. – either a refund or a penalty. That’s what we’re looking into.)
The result of the probe could come out in a week’s time. The DTI regulates businesses in the Philippines and oversees the registration and implementation of contests and promos, among other tasks.
Shopee issued an apology late Thursday evening after the meet and greet happened. – Rappler.com